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United States' Brewster F2A Buffalo fighter

Photos

Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo fighter:
United States' Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo fighter
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo fighter:
United States' Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo fighter
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Design

The Brewster F2A Buffalo was the first monoplane fighter to be used by the United States Navy.

The design of the XF2A-1 started in early 1936.

Prototype

The XF2A-1 prototype first flew in December 1937. In June 1938 a contract was signed to build 54 F2A Buffalo.

Production

  • Brewster XF2A-1: 1
  • Brewster F2A-1: 11
  • Brewster F2A-2: 43
  • Brewster F2A-3: 108
  • Brewster B-239: 44
  • Brewster B-339: 282
  • Brewster B-439: 20
  • Total: 507, 509
    • Manufacturer: Brewster Aeronautical Corporation
    • Production: 1938 - March 1942

Variants

  • Brewster XF2A-1: Prototype.
  • Brewster F2A-1: Production. Powered by Wright R-1820-34 radials (940 HP). First entered service in June 1939.
  • Brewster F2A-2: Had new vertical tail surfaces. Better engine.
  • Brewster F2A-3: Longer nose and additional armor protection.
  • Brewster B-239: Land based export version to Finland.
  • Brewster B-339: Had Wright GR-1820 Cyclone engines (1,100 HP). There were larger fuel tanks and increased armor.
  • Brewster B-339B: Land based export version of the F2A-1 to Belgium.
  • Brewster B-339D: Land based export version to F2A-1 Netherlands.
  • Brewster B-339E / Brewster Buffalo Mk I: Land based export version to the United Kingdom.
  • Brewster B-439: Export version of the F2A-3.

Usage

The countries that used the F2A were Australia, Belgium (40), Britain (170), Finland, Netherlands East Indies (72), New Zealand, and United States.

The VF-3 received the first eleven F2A Buffalos in June 1940 on the USS Saratoga.

Withdrawn

After being operational for a few months the Buffalo was withdrawn from service and replaced by F4F Wildcats.

Midway

The United States Marine Corps used F2As in the VMF-221 at Midway in 1942. 13 of the 19 available were shot down.

Finland

Finland ordered 44 B-239s.

They were used with success against the Soviets from 1941 to 1944.

Belgium

Belgium ordered 40 B-339Bs. 38 of these were diverted to the United Kingdom.

Netherlands

The Dutch ordered 72 B-339Ds.

The Dutch East Indies was to receive 20 B-439s but these were delivered to the United States Air Corp. 17 of these were sent to Australia.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom received 38 of the B-339Bs that were intended for the Belgians. They also received 170 B-339Es that were designated the Buffalo Mk I. Most of the Buffalos served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and only a few served with the Royal Navy.

Specifications

  Brewster F2A Buffalo
Type Naval fighter
Land fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 35'
10.67 m
Length 26' 4"
8.03 m
Height 12' 1"
3.68 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Normal load  
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Wings 2: 0.5" MG
Nose 2: 0.5" MG
  Brewster F2A-2 Buffalo
Type Naval fighter
Land fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Wright R-1820-40
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 1,200
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Normal load  
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo
Type Carrier fighter, Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 1: Wright Cyclone
1: Wright R-1820-40 piston
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 1,200
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 35'
10.67m
Length 26' 2", 26' 4"
8.02 m
Height 12', 12' 1"
3.68 m
Wing area 208.9 ft2
19.41 m2
Weight  
Empty 4,732 lb
2,146 kg
Normal load 6,321 lb, 6,440 lb
2,867 kg
Maximum load 7,159 lb
3,247 kg
Performance  
Speed 350 mph
Speed @ 16,500'
5,030 m
321 mph
516 kph
Climb 2,290'/minute
698 m/minute
Service ceiling 32,300', 33,200'
10,119 m, 10,120 m
Range 965 miles, 1,200 miles
1,553 km, 1,650 km
Armament 4: MG
Wings 2: 12.7 mm Browning MG
Nose 2: 12.7 mm Browning MG
Bombs 2: 100 lb

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site